Sunday, 20 December 2015

Priscilla and Aquila

Priscilla and Aquila served the Lord together for a considerable period of time. It is generally assumed that her name is mentioned first because she came from a higher rank in society than her husband. Nevertheless, they were both devoted slaves of Jesus Christ.

They are mentioned six times in the New Testament and on each occasion they made use of current providences to serve the Lord. One of those providences involved getting thrown out of Rome because of trouble connected to the Jews there (Acts 18:2). That eviction may have been costly for them, yet when they reached Corinth they continued serving the Lord. They did not regard adverse providences as a reason for reducing their level of commitment.

One feature that is stressed is the way they used their property for extending the kingdom. They lived in Corinth, Ephesus and Rome at different times, and in each place their home was used as a meeting place for Christians. Perhaps they moved about because they were flexible, or maybe they had branches of their business in each location. Whatever the reason, it is obvious that they regarded Jesus as the owner of their possessions.

Another commendable feature about them is the way they thought of and dealt with people. In Corinth, they were glad to have Paul stay with them. Later on, when they met Apollos and discovered his lack of knowledge about Jesus, they spoke wisely and privately to him and helped him discover the complete account of the work of Jesus. Through them, Apollos became a very competent teacher of the faith. Afterwards, when they had moved to Ephesus, they sent through Paul hearty greetings to the church in Corinth, a church in which they had invested so much and which had descended into errors. They could have expressed annoyance, but instead they expressed love even in the greeting that they sent.

Moreover, their service was not hindered by peril. In Romans 16, Paul mentions that at one time they had been willing to lay down their lives in order to rescue him from a very real danger. The fact that they were willing to have the church in Rome meet in their house – the place from which they were thrown out a few years before – also showed they had great courage in serving the Lord.

The final detail to note about them is that they were precious. This is shown in at least two ways. One is the description given of them in Romans 16 which says that all the churches of the Gentiles gave thanks for them, an exceptional degree of appreciation. The other is the greeting Paul sent to them in 2 Timothy 4 – this is the last recorded greeting that Paul sent, which is an indication of who he was thinking about as he awaited his own departure to heaven.

Priscilla and Aquila have left us an outstanding example of how to serve the Lord.

(Reflections after a sermon preached about Priscilla and Aquila earlier today.)

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